Summer Produce in Fall

I have a pagne of guilt when I clean out my refrigerator and throw away food. Especially produce.  I visit the Farmer's Markets and stock the kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables, but with an overactive travel schedule of late, tossing uneaten, inedible food happens more often than I would care to admit. As the summer wound down, farmers were eager to sell their summer stock to consumers and we were the fortunate recipients of (not kidding) 20 pounds of tomatoes. Ok, maybe it was 15 pounds, but the point is, both the crispers were full to the top as was the veggie bowl on the counter.  The bottom shelf was also covered in round, red tomatoes. There was an abundance and while full of lycopene and clearly great for your health, one can only eat so many tomatoes before the acid feels like it's burning the inside of your mouth.

Of course, I thought, I will can them!  Reality set in and I realized that by the time I found a full day to can them, the tomatoes would have canned themselves. Next.

Then, I came across the idea of freezing the tomatoes.  Easy Peasy. Here are the steps:

  • Wash tomatoes
  • With your knife, hull out the stem portion at the top, digging about half-way into the tomato.

  • Repeat with each one (I had six that made the cut, with another six that were too soggy)
  • Place tomatoes into a quart sized bag.
  • Ensure all the air has been depressed from the bag.  If you have a machine that does this, by all means, use it.  I used a straw.
  • Place in freezer until you are ready to use.

The second part of this entry will come when I use a frozen fruit, but the directions for using are as simple as those for preserving.

  1. Remove tomato from the freezer and let it rest on the counter for 45 minutes
  2. Place into a sauce pan over medium heat, where the tomato will break down, creating a chunky sauce, to which you can add butter (to thicken and flavor) or spices and herbs.
  3. Voila, an easy and quick sauce for pizza, pasta or dipping.